Whether you’ve just purchased a recreational vehicle (RV) or renting one for the week, your first RV trip is an exciting event. However, it’s completely normal to feel a bit apprehensive too. After all, RV’ing can seem like a very inclusive lifestyle with a lot to learn about campgrounds, their rules, and the vehicle itself.
The more you RV, the more you’ll learn all the tricks of a seasoned RVer. For the purpose of making your first or second trip go as smoothly as possible, we have 6 tips to consider.
1. Check your insurance coverage
If you plan to rent an RV you might need to arrange for additional coverage from your insurance broker. Some rental companies have minimum age requirements.
2. Don’t travel too far from home during your first trip
Though you might be tempted to start planning your cross-country trip or visiting the far off hot spots you’ve always wanted to see, the first trip should be relatively close to home. If anything goes awry, you won’t be in the middle of nowhere. Being within a couple hours from home makes it possible to call family or friends to help you out of a jam.
Stay in familiar territory. It will be less stressful and give you a chance to get a feel for the vehicle and a better sense of what you need and don’t need.
3. Stay at a trusted campground
Choose a good, reputable RV stop or campground that gets a lot of visitors each year and knows how to deal with RV dilemmas. RVs can take you to many remote places. Stick to RV stops or campgrounds of alike as you learn the ropes. Choose stops with knowledgeable staff and keep RV supplies on hand. They can be a good information resource too. When you reserve your spot, know the length and class of your RV to get the proper sized spot.
4. Attend a class on RV maintenance
It doesn’t hurt to take a class that will teach you about general maintenance and how to properly use all the features in your RV. Classes are great for going over common problems and scenarios you might encounter on a trip. The ability to troubleshoot problems on the road will make your trip go much more smoothly.
5. Keep your RV organized
Organization is the key to staying sane while living out of an RV. When you need something (like a flashlight, first aid kit, batteries, or even dog food) you don’t want to have to pull everything out from every corner. Uncomplicate things for yourself on the road. Simplify your space by keeping things labeled and organized before you head out.
6. Resist the temptation to “wing it”
The desire to live spontaneously is understandable when your home is on wheels. Plan the important things in advance and your trip will be much more enjoyable in the long run. Cover these bases and you can be spontaneous with your time knowing you’re prepared:
Budget: How much can you afford to spend on food, gas, fun, and the unexpected?
Food: Will you mostly be making your own meals or eating out?
Route: Know where you’re going, what’s in the area and alternative routes.
Stops: Rest stops or attractions you want to see.
Campgrounds: Where along the route you plan to stay.
With these tips you’ll be able to focus on the fun parts of your trip or easily handle any mishaps.
Also, don’t forget to register your RV license plate with Windshieldink. You never know when someone needs to get a hold of you about an issue with your RV if you’re not around, or maybe they just want to say hello to a fellow RVer.
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